. art —

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The web in general, and the Rhizome community in particular, is an environment for discussion and exchange. The actions we take, the pages we visit, and the objects we select are all ways of expressing and sharing our views and ideas. The troika interfaces makes this explicit by generating mappings of the database that is dependent on the activities of its users.

The Troika interfaces display each object in the Rhizome database as one pixel. The object is accessed by clicking on the pixel. The pixel's color represents the keywords that are associated with the object and the people that have requested it in relation to a specified troika - a conceptual triad such as "body, mind, spirit". The color that represents the object is changed over time as a result of users making traces in the database. The users are marked with the color of the object they first select, and are leaving a trace of that color on the objects they select afterwards. The interfaces are animated to show the colors changing over time.

The troika interfaces convey the belief that we as humans are excellent in making selections in huge sets of data if the data is presented to us in a way in which we have overview. Think about the wanderer going up on a hilltop to determine the direction of her wanderings. She would not want to be presented with a few selected snapshots of different directions, no, she most likely prefer as much visual input as possible. The German philosopher Emmanuel Kant distinguishes between two aesthetic pleasures: beauty - pleasure derived from the small graspable things we feel we can understand; and sublimity - experiences of fear and fascination of "endlessness" of quantities and spaces so large that we feel we can not grasp them. He claims that in experiencing the sublime, contrary to what could be believed, we feel empowered and our organizing abilities are mobilized.